AN ACCOUNTANT who made himself ill with overwork has credited a business consultant with saving his life.

Roger Duckworth says his heart rate was way above average and he was feeling ill all the time before he learned to work “smarter not harder”.

Mr Duckworth, 46, has been a director at Ferndown’s Ward Goodman Accountants for 18 years.

He says Sue Benoke, who runs Smarter Business Consultancy, based at Barton-on-Sea, turned his life around after he met her at an evening seminar and agreed to attend one of her success workshops.

He said: “I was in chaos. I had been working too hard and for too long and developed heart palpitations, making me feel really unwell all of the time.

“The doctor said that my heart rate was way above average at around 100 beats per minute rather than a healthy 70 or so and that something needed to change or I was at risk of a heart attack or worse.

“One of the problems was that I was working in a very reactive way, responding to everything that came in, trying to attend meetings that others were putting in my diary, trying to service everything and everyone without really delegating anything.

“It was also very much ‘death by lists’.

“I would make up a list at the beginning of the week which would rise to about 40 ‘urgent’ things to do and ended up not being able to service everything and going round and round in circles.

“When I met Sue at one of her seminars in Bournemouth, we spoke about how she could help with planning my time ahead of the game, prioritising tasks, building in slack time and the art of delegation amongst other things.

“I attended the workshop which was such an eye opener and made me completely reprioritise everything.”

Sue Benoke said: “Roger is such a nice person that he thought that saying ‘no’ meant that he was letting people down.

“He needed to learn that he could do a better job for his clients by delegating and learning to say no, albeit politely.

“One of the most recurrent feedback comments I receive from my attendees is that my success work-shops are ‘life changing’.

“I am delighted that in Roger’s case, it was not only life changing but life-saving too.”